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Illness perceptions in people with acute bacterial gastroenteritis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sally Parry, Professor Roger Barton, Dr Mark Welfare


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Functional gastro-intestinal disorders (FGID) like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are common and can develop after gastroenteritis. Illness representations may be important influences on the development of post-infectious FGIDs. Here, we studied both the relationship between prior chronic symptoms (FGIDs) and illness perception during an acute illness (bacterial gastro-enteritis) as well as the relationship between illness perception during an acute illness (bacterial gastro-enteritis) and the subsequent development of chronic abdominal symptoms. Two hundred and seventeen people with recent gastro-enteritis completed a questionnaire asking about gut symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of IBS, functional dyspepsia or functional diarrhoea and the Illness Perception Questionnaire. Those without a prior FGID were followed up and completed a similar gut questionnaire at six months. People with a prior FGID had significantly more symptoms and scored significantly higher on the timeline and consequence scores than those without. People who developed a FGID had a non-significantly higher number of symptoms and higher consequence and timeline scores than those who did not. Neither comparative group differed in the control/cure scores or causation scores. The implications of the findings are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Parry SD, Corbett S, James P, Barton JR, Welfare MR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Health Psychology

Year: 2003

Volume: 8

Issue: 6

Pages: 693-704

ISSN (print): 1359-1053

ISSN (electronic): 1461-7277

Publisher: Sage Publications


DOI: 10.1177/13591053030086004


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